tv CBS Evening News With Katie Couric CBS July 10, 2009 7:00pm-7:27pm EDT
reorganizing took just 40 days and g.m. got another infusion of taxpayer money this week, about $20 billion. this brings the total bailout to $50 billion. c.e.o. fritz henderson said he intends to pay it all back before the 2015 deadline. and to do it he's betting on a new business model and an old car model, an updated version of a classic chevrolet muscle car. from detroit tonight, here's dean reynolds. >> reporter: the leaders of a reborn general motors drove off in what they insist is a new direction today. >> today marks the beginning of a new company. >> reporter: the bankruptcy cut its debt from $180 billion to about $50 billion, largely at the expense of bondholders. and it cut hourly labor costs from $70 to $45. but it damaged g.m.'s reputation and put 60% of the automaker in the hands of a potentially meddlesome federal government. its new government-imposed
boss-- former at&t chairman ed whitacre-- admits he's never been a car guy. but he sees the ingredients for success nonetheless. >> all the raw materials are here for this to be not only an american success but worldwide success. >> reporter: indeed, in the midst of the company's catastrophic decline comes a glimmer of hope in the shape of the new 2010 camaro. g.m. is selling more of these camaros than they can make. they're working overtime to produce them and you still have a six-week wait to get one. but the new g.m. will not include pontiac, hummer, saturn, and saab. only buick, chevy, cadillac and g.m.c. made the cut and that means 14,000 hourly workers will no longer be needed, for about 4,000 white collar employees. g.m.'s dealerships-- nearly 6,000 strong-- were relics of past success and will be trimmed by 2,300 unless congress gets in the way, that is. legislation already pending
would keep some of the doomed franchises alive. but the surviving dealers are optimistic. >> i'm hoping this is the turning point. i'm hoping we can move forward and get back to what we do. >> reporter: g.m.'s c.e.o. fritz henderson seconded that motion. >> we want people to give us a second look for sure. but we want them to do it because we think our products merritt that. >> reporter: industry analysts remain to be convinced. the game is g.m.'s to lose right now. a little bit of the old way starts creeping in, then they basically all bets are off. >> reporter: company officials see this as a precious opportunity. c.e.o. fritz henderson said it was like having a second chance in life. but he quickly added there will be no third chance. katie? >> couric: dean, we keep hearing about the new and improved g.m. but is there any real evidence it's changing the way it does business? >> reporter: well, basically, they say they're going to bring out cars that people want and bring them out a lot faster, including green cars. at the same time, they've elevated an executive named bob
lutz who's famous for his designs but infamous for his questioning of global warming and the need for hybrid cars. so we'll see. katie? >> couric: all right. dean reynolds in detroit tonight. thank you. now that horror story we told you about yesterday. workers at an historic black cemetery near chicago allegedly digging up bodies and then reselling the plots. relatives of people buried at that cemetery went there today to see if their graves had been desecrated. cynthia bowers has more. >> reporter: in a dreary downfall, hundreds of grief-stricken families poured into burr oaks cemetery for directions. >> we're going to go this way. >> reporter: a bit of reassurance. >> we'll get you on the next shuttle bus. >> reporter: and bus rides to look for graves they hope are still there. >> i want to know where my family is. their souls is not resting in peace. >> reporter: four cemetery workers here face up to 30 years behind bars for their alleged roles in digging up bodies and reselling plots. dianne duwbre came in from las vegas yesterday to bury her aunt
only to find the plot already occupied. >> they're telling me from's no space there because there's another casket in there. >> reporter: vanessa ross says last year she noticed her mom's headstone was in the wrong place. >> the headstone was maybe about a half a block away. >> reporter: burr oak is the final resting place of many famous african americans including lynching victim emmitt till. his remains were exhumed then reburied four careers ago. news today his old glass-topped casket was found rusting in this shed, home to possums and rats. the money donated to build a mausoleum in his honor is missing. >> how could anybody allow this to happen to something that's so pert net to history? >> reporter: nobody can say for sure exactly how many thousands of people are buried in this 150-acre cemetery, leading the sheriff to suggest short of digging up every grave and doing d.n.a. testing, every family may never have complete resolution. >> the question has been asked
ultimately, are you going to bring complete clarity to everybody? i can't make that assurance at all. >> reporter: which means many families have lost their loved ones all over again. cynthia bowers, cbs news, alsip, illinois. >> couric: overseas tonight, president obama got a warm welcome in the african nation of ghana. he flew there from italy after wrapping up the g-8 summit. the president was mobbed by dancing crowds at the airport. tomorrow he'll address ghana's parliament. more than a million people are expected to line the streets, hoping to get a glimpse of the first african american president. meanwhile, mr. obama had a busy day today, including a very serious discussion at the vatican. are chief white house correspondent chip reid is traveling with the president. >> reporter: at the vatican today, a warm greeting for president obama from pope benedict xvi. >> it's a great honor for me. thank you so much. >> reporter: it's a tradition followed by every american president since eisenhower. the pope is known for his
eagerness to listen. but he stated in clear terms the church's opposition to abortion the vatican says president obama and-- an abortion rights supporters-- made a commitment to try to reduce the number of abortions in the united states, reaffirm ago pledge he made at notre dame university in may. >> let us work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions. >> reporter: the pope also gave mr. obama a church document condemning research using embryonic stem cells, research the president supports. white house officials say the president asked the pope to pray for his family who made the trip to the vatican with him. he also gave the pope a letter from senator ted kennedy and asked the pope to pray for him as he struggles with brain cancer. pope benedict and the president also talked about issues on which they largely agree, including middle east peace and aid to africa, which was on the agenda earlier in the day at the final session of the global economic summit. the leaders agreed to a $20 billion program to help africa
grow more of its own food. mr. obama said he has high hopes for africa's economy, but concreted there's still a very long way to go. >> in many african countries if you want to start a business or get a job you still have to pay a bribe. >> reporter: on a lighter note, after meeting with the president of south africa, president obama was asked if he plans to go to soccer's world cup in that country next year. he responded with an attempt at humor. >> that's my goal. did you get that? >> reporter: from italy, the president heads to the nation of ghana, where he will praise that nation's commitment to democratic ideals. chip reid, cbs news, l'aquila, italy. >> couric: now to the war in afghanistan, the new u.s. commander there believes to win he'll need a bigger afghan army and billions in additional funding. an american buildup is already under way with 17,000 new troops heading there. by year's end, u.s. forces will total
68,000. but our david martin has learned that general stanley mckristal's plans could require even more americans, perhaps thousands, to train new afghan recruits. of course, much of the war against the taliban and al qaeda is being fought across the boarder in pakistan. and the most valuable weapons there are american drones. today, the u.s. reportedly used them to attack a taliban communications center, killing at least three people. and as david martin now tells us they've got al qaeda on the run. >> reporter: it's not often the enemy tells you something you're doing-- in this case strikes by c.i.a. drones against al qaeda sanctuaries in pakistan-- is working. but in this document posted on the web, a top al qaeda commander writes: both senior government officials and outside experts say it's an extraordinary confession. >> it exposes for the first time a level of paranoia and a level of self-consciousness and a lack of confidence in al qaeda's leadership and their propaganda
that we haven't seen up until now. >> reporter: in the past year, the c.i.a. has flown more than 50 drone strikes in pakistan, killing half of al qaeda's top leaders and hundreds of its fighters. one senior official said the central leadership of al qaeda is under more pressure now than at any time since the bombing of tora bora in 2001. the document blames the accuracy of the strikes on spies who have spread throughout the land like locusts. so many brave commanders have been snatched away, it says, so many hidden homes have been leveled. >> reporter: the accuracy of these drone strikes has been so remarkable, there's not even been an attempt by al qaeda or the taliban to offer a counternarrative to say that, no there were actually women and children that were killed. nothing but silence. >> reporter: the strikes do cause civilian casualties. but one senior official claims more innocent people have been executed by al qaeda as suspected spies than killed by c.i.a. drones. david martin, cbs news, the pentagon.
>> couric: from iran, new video of the latest protests in the capital. thousands took to the streets yesterday, demanding a new presidential election. security officers used clubs and tear gas to break up the rallies. more than 2,500 protestors have reportedly been arrested since last month's disputed election. most are still being held. and coming up next on the "cbs evening news," monkey see, monkey do. will a diet for primates being the prime example of healthy living for humans? (male announcer) if you've had a heart attack caused by a completely blocked artery, another heart attack could be lurking, waiting to strike. a heart attack caused by a clot, one that could be fatal. but plavix helps save lives. plavix, taken with other heart medicines goes beyond what other heart medicines do alone to provide greater protection against heart attack or stroke and even death by helping to keep blood platelets
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>> couric: we all know skipping desert is a simple way to lose a little weight. but could it also help you gain years? a ground breaking new study suggests cutting calories may be the key to a longer life with less disease. sandra hughes shows us the research of restraint. >> reporter: these monkeys have been dieting for more than 15 years and researchers say because of a low-calorie diet they've lived a longer and healthier life than their fatter companions. >> we saw that the diseases of aging such as cancers, diabetes, and heart problems, the monkeys on chror rick restriction caloric restrictions were three times less prone to develop
diseases. >> reporter: half the monkeys ate a normal diet, the others, one-third less. of those who ate the normal diet 50% have died. of the dieting monkeys, only 20% have died. scientists say less food; longer life. all this is a vindication for very extreme dieters like lisa wolford. she belongs to the calorie restrictions society and eats about 1,500 calories a day of mostly fresh vegetables and fruits. >> i don't seem to get sick so it's a way to maintain health and energy and just feel fulfilled with my life. >> reporter: nutritionists say you don't have to go to extremes to achieve these life extending benefits. cut 30% of your cal already a rick intake daily to change your metabolism. a diet like this, cereal with fresh fruit for breakfast, salad for lunch and lean meat and venl jis for dinner. in a country where two-thirds of us-- about 200 million people
are overweight-- that sounds spartan. >> i would be miserable. i'd be spending my life counting calories. >> reporter: the monkeys may be living longer but researchers say they don't know if they were happy about it. sandra hughes, cbs news, los angeles. >> couric: and for tips on losing weight, you can go to our partner in health coverage webmd.com and search "calories." meanwhile, hundreds of people risk shortening their lives every year in the running of the bulls in pamplona, spain. and that flirtation with danger turned deadly today when a bull got separated from the pack. it gored a 27-year-old spaniard and he later died. a 61-year-old american and two others were also gored and another man was tossed by the bull's horns but wasn't seriously hurt. the death today was the first in 15 years and the 15th since they started keeping records back in 1924.
>> couric: the senate judiciary committee opens confirmation hearings monday for sonia sotomayor, the first hispanic nominated to the supreme court and only the fourth woman. hearings for some past nominees have produced fireworks, but it should be smooth sailing for sotomayor, though she's sure to be questioned about one controversial remark. wyatt andrews has a preview. >> just to make it look official
here. >> reporter: she met with 89 senators, faced six weeks of scrutiny, but on monday a virtual script will unfold for the confirmation of sonia sotomayor. >> i'm enthusiastic about it. >> reporter: democrats like patrick leahy will push the personal story of the girl from the projects, the yale grad who could have made millions but who started her career as a prosecutor and who is now the first hispanic nominee to the supreme court. >> this judge is an example of what we tell our children they can grow up to be. >> reporter: the republican script calls for tough but respectful questioning. what about her comments that a wise latina woman would reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life? and speaking of white males, why did she not find that the white new haven firefighters had a case of reverse discrimination? >> even though it raised fundamental important constitutional questions, really important questions. >> reporter: on the witness list republicans will call frank
ricci, one of the white firefighters who lost in front of sonia sotomayor but won the case at the supreme court. democrats will call former pitcher david cone to thank the judge for ending the baseball strike in 1995 with a decision she reached in 15 minutes. absent any bombshell revelations then, sotomayor is on a glide path for confirmation. so much that so that at least ten republicans could support her as well. wyatt andrews, cbs news, at the supreme court. >> couric: also in washington, former senator and presidential candidate bob dole is in the hospital. in fact, he's been at walter reed since last week. dole, seen here on the d-day anniversary last month, had some open sores on his left leg that required surgery, a skin graft is planned for monday. dole says it's been painful but he hopes to be out of the hospital by july 22, the day he turns 86. still ahead, how a ball player and a young fan brought each other very good luck.
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may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair. we had a great day, grandpa! we sure did. ask your doctor how advair helps improve lung function for better breathing. (announcer) find out how to get your first full prescription free at advaircopd.com. start taking care of my heart, but i wasn't ready to give up taste. sometimes, sacrifice... is the name of the game. honey nut cheerios cereal... tastes great and can help... lower cholesterol. i guess i can do this. bee happy. bee healthy. >> couric: we tend week with a story that has a little something for everyone. for the sentimental, it will tug
at your heart strings. for sports lovers, it has baseball. and to tell it, of course, it has steve hartman. >> reporter: tonight's story is like a modern-day "pride of the yankees." set in a hospital, a baseball hero meets a young boy or in this case young girl and promises to hit a home run. >> hit a home run for you this afternoon. >> reporter: or in this case doesn't promise a thing. >> i didn't promise her. i wouldn't promise anybody that. >> reporter: really? aside from the fact that ruth hit it over the fence and gardner hit it to shallow left,& this news story is just like that old legend. only better. as you can kind of see in this amateur video, it began when alyssa esposito, a 12th grader in desperate need of a heart transplant gave gardner a friendship bracelet and told him
it would help him hit a home run. >> i thought it would be so cool if it happened. >> reporter: she obviously didn't know you. >> if she knew me, she'd probably say "it will help you steal a base," but maybe not a home run. >> reporter: let's say gardner made the team because of his speed, not power. and the only hit he got the night he met alyssa was a shallow blooper to left field. >> it rolls down the left field line. >> reporter: the crazy thing about baseball, sometimes on very rare occasion, you don't have to hit a home run. >> here's the play at the plate! >> reporter: to score one. >> an inside-the-park home run! brett gardner. >> reporter: it was deja vu all over the again. after the game, gardner told reporters about what alyssa had said and soon "pride of the yankees 2" was opening on little screens everywhere >> if we make it into the playoffs and get to the world series, we might have to start seeing each other everyday. (laughter) >> reporter: in this real life remake, an even happier ending was yet to come. apparently, this good luck
bracelet works even better for the person who gives it away. about the same time gardner hit his home run, the phone rang at alyssa's hospital. >> "we got a heart for you." and i'm just... i was just in shock. my mom starts crying, i start crying. >> reporter: coincidence or something more? and if this is a case of divine intervention, why would a truly just god be helping the yankees? whatever it was, the team isn't taking any chances. they invited alyssa to a game and gave her and her family the full leprechaun treatment. seemed everyone was trying to get on her good side. >> can i give you a present? >> where'd you get the gloves from? >> a-rod. >> reporter: as for the friendship bracelet that started it all, it hangs in gardner's lucker at home and away. >> keep it with me at all times. >> reporter: it's worth noting that since getting that bracelet brett gardner is batting over .300. so maybe the big guy is a
yankees fan. >> couric: maybe he is. >> reporter: who would have thought. >> couric: or she is, right? that was such a great story! i mean, you totally got me on that. how's alyssa doing? >> reporter: great. she got her new heart and she's going to live as long as the rest of us. >> couric: that's so wonderful. thank you for telling us that story, steve. so well written, by the way. tell us what you have in store for next week. >> reporter: step on a crack, send 92-year-old kathleen harris to the hospital. ten times it's happened. we'll find out what she's doing to smooth out her town next week. >> couric: such a nice way to tend week. thank you, steve.